It's not quite the deluge they wanted, but Westminster officials are grateful for the rain that has fallen in the past two months because they haven't had to truck in water for a month.
For the first time since July, the city's main water supply is back to 50 percent of capacity.
More than 7 inches of rain fell in Carroll County last month, compared with 4 inches in August.
"It [rainfall] certainly helped us out and allowed us to buy time," said Thomas B. Beyard, director of planning and public works. "We can't complain too much. The rain replenishes the ground water and keeps the streams flowing, but we're not even close to being comfortable.
"This is the worst year in water in 15 years. Hopefully we'll get through it and get back to normal conditions."
Raw Reservoir, the city's primary water source, was last at 50 percent of its capacity the week of July 29, Beyard said. The reservoir's water level peaked for the year at more than 80 percent at the end of June before a dry spell in August and September caused a serious depletion in the city's water supply.
At a council meeting in August, the mayor and council agreed to let Beyard's department call in trucks when the water level at the reservoir fell below 25 percent, and allocated $100,000 to the effort.
Since Sept. 18 the city has been periodically trucking in water, with the last run starting Oct. 6 and ending Oct. 10. Beyard estimates that about $100,000 has been spent for the cost of hauling water from nearby Medford Quarry, a plentiful and naturally occurring source of water, to the city's Cranberry water treatment plant. The water is free to the city through an agreement with the quarry's owners, LaFarge Corp.
Four trucks each carried 6,000 gallons in an eight-mile trip that starts at Route 31 and ends at the plant, off Route 27. About 500,000 gallons a day were added to the city's water system by the vehicles.
Last month, the council approved a request from Beyard's department to increase the trucking allocation to $200,000, but the Planning and Public Works Department has not hauled in water since getting that approval.
At that meeting, council members chose to pursue a $2.5 million state loan that would help the city tap the quarry through a permanent 5.5-mile emergency water main connection and relieve the need to truck in water.
The pipeline would be buried along Route 31, providing a way for more than a million gallons of water a day to flow during emergencies.
The Maryland Department of the Environment would make the loan at a rate of 2.3 percent over 20 years.
Though the design and surveying work is moving ahead, Beyard said the city has to reach an agreement with the Environment Department and the quarry company.
Beyard expects construction to start early next year.